Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Lateral Thinking

How often have you found yourself working hard on something, only to discover that there is an easier way which you could have done it? An example is cleaning. Do you use your hands or a cloth or broom or vacuum? Will you use a toothbrush when scrubbing or something more appropriate? If the end result is the same, why not take the shortcut?

The above are somewhat simplistic examples of "Lateral Thinking". Indeed there is a blog titled "The Lazy Way to Success" which glamorizes the process of using intelligence to get things done faster or in a superior manner.

It got me thinking about some of the recent flooding in the UK. Why were the houses built on flood plains? Could the streets have been sloped in a manner which drained water away from residential areas? Could the houses have been designed with flood protection? Would it have helped if more people had gardens to absorb the water? Would more parks and open spaces have helped? Could the water have been pumped out at more points along the rivers rather than just in the affected areas?

Perhaps officials in future will attempt to use Lateral Thinking in their planning? In the meantime here are some puzzles to get you started:

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